October 6, 2006
Friday night was the Charlottesville Police Department's Award Ceremony and Banquet at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville. It's a once a year event to show appreciation for staff members who go above and beyond the call of duty.
The department honored a dozen people individually, as well as the entire staff of the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Charlottesville Forensic Unit.
Each individual and group demonstrated outstanding work that went above and beyond what's expected.
"It's just our way of within our organization, internally, to say thanks and to acknowledge the good work that they do," explained Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.
The department also thanked members for decades of service and said farewell to five retirees.
One of them, Ronnie Webster, has served the city's police department for 37 years.
Longo said it was a bittersweet goodbye.
"To lose that talent and that experience is hard for an organization," he said. "But he leaves behind a legacy, and you saw some of that in his comments tonight, and we're gonna miss him. But we're about honoring the great things that he and the others have done."
The department also honored family members, spouses, and children of those serving within the department. Longo said they have sacrificed so much, so that the Charlottesville community can be a safer and better place to live.
This was the fourth year the department has held its awards ceremony and banquet.